Friday, January 31, 2003

Punchinello in Chains: VI. Punchinello Dreams of Escape

The ship at anchor wasn’t what it seemed—
yet Punchinello gripped the eagle’s neck.
(The dream of life is just another dream.)

It soared above the masts, canals, the steam
of chimneys, till our Punch was just a speck.
The ship at anchor wasn’t what it seemed,

the harbor, Venice, Europe—even the gleam
blazing San Marco’s horses shrank. A fleck!
The dream of life is just another dream

that really wants a king, a god’s regime,
or some poor hurricane to wreck
the ship at anchor. Wasn’t what it seemed,

Punch’s old life, another Ponzi scheme?
Weren’t sailors waving from the quarter-deck?
The dream of life is just another dream

that none of us will live to see redeemed.
Death scrawls his bold John Hancock on your check.
The ship at anchor wasn’t what it seemed.
The dream of life is just another dream.

(C)2003, Wiliam Logan

Looking In at Night

Asleep, alive, her shape makes me afraid.
Afraid to lose what lasts a little while—
A curl of light along her shoulder blade,

One elbow up but the round ear in shade,
Mouth serious, eyes inward in denial
Of waking life—her shape makes me afraid.

She is like a statue they’ve displayed,
A maiden’s (from the porch), with her unseeing smile.
Light is sketched along her shoulder blade

And weaves around her head like waves of braid,
Suggesting hair in an archaic style,
Asleep-alive. Her shape makes me afraid,

Every year the marble more decayed,
The lines less clear. Time starts its slide,
Curling the light along her shoulder blade

Then rubbing out the features we have made
To take the wing and numbers from the dial.
Alive in sleep her shape turns, unafraid,
Drawing the night along her shoulder blade.

(C)2003, Mary Kinzie

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